Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coleman: Allen Born For Liverpool

Chris Coleman has paid tribute to Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen after he was named Player of the Year by the Football Association of Wales.

Allen picked up the Player of the Year and Club Player of the Year awards on Monday night after an impressive 12 months.

As well as performing well for his country, the 22-year-old starred for Swansea City in the Premier League last season to earn a £15million summer switch to Liverpool.

National team manager Coleman has not been surprised by Allen's progress, while he has also praised the player's attitude.

"The last 12 months have been incredible for Joe. He was born to play for a club like Liverpool and excel," said Coleman.

"He's a great character, very humble and never gets carried away."

Ajax Starlet Welcomes Liverpool Interest

Liverpool are eyeing up a move for Ajax starlet Christian Eriksen as a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard, according to reports in Denmark.

Eriksen has attracted interest from some of Europe’s leading clubs since being named Dutch young player of the year for the 2010/11 season.

Manchester United were said to be courting the talented youngster after his two displays against the Red Devils in the Europa League last season.

The Danish international’s sterling performances at Euro 2012 further enhanced his reputation, and while there were rumours of a move to either Manchester United or Barcelona over the summer, Eriksen himself insisted he was staying put until the end of the 2012/13 season.

Now it appears as though Liverpool have earmarked Eriksen as the man to replace Steven Gerrard when he eventually retires from the game. reports that Liverpool have stepped up their interest in taking Eriksen to Anfield this week, while the player himself admits he is flattered by news of the Merseyside club’s interest.

“It's very cool that the focus is from one of the big clubs (Liverpool). It's very special, but I have not really thought about a club transfer in any way,” he told

Eriksen also confirmed once more that he is likely to leave Ajax at the end of the season, but would not be drawn on the rumoured interest from Liverpool as well as Manchester United.

He said: “We do not know yet. It really depends on the season and how it all looks like summer”

Eriksen’s contract expires in 2014 while Steven Gerrard’s deal with Liverpool is believed to expire in 2015, although recently the Liverpool skipper intimated that he could sign a contract extension that will keep him in a red shirt well into his mid-thirties.

Last month Liverpool was linked with a move for Malaga’s Isco as well as Ander Herrera as a replacement for Gerrard.

Manchester United’s midfield woes are well documented, and it was reported over the summer by the Daily Mail that Eriksen had asked for a £20 million summer switch to Old Trafford.

Liverpool Scout Slovenian Midfielder

Liverpool is considering a January move for Palermo midfielder and reported Tottenham target Josip Ilicic, according to Calcio Mercato.

The 24-year-old Slovenian international has been one of the Serie A side's stand-out performers so far this season, attracting attention from a number of clubs, not just in the Premier League.

It was reported that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers had sent Anfield scouts to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris for Saturday night's clash between Genoa and Palermo, to run the rule over Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist.

However, speculation now suggests Liverpool were in fact taking a closer look at Ilicic, with a view to bringing him to Merseyside when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

Local rivals, Everton, are long-term admirers of the player, and according to Calcio Mercato, Spurs have also been monitoring Ilicic. Their interest stems back before the days of Andre Villas-Boas, so whether or not Liverpool will face competition from White Hart Lane, remains to be seen.

Ilicic joined Palermo from Maribor in a €2.3million deal in 2010, and after an impressive debut season in Italy signed a five-year contract extension last summer.

It's not yet clear how much the Rosanero would demand for the attacking midfielder, but one thing's for certain, they will be under no pressure to sell with four years still to run on his deal.

Liverpool Lead Race For £10m Winger

Liverpool and Manchester City lead the chase for Crystal Palace winger, and reported Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha, according to

The England U21 international has attracted widespread interest from a number of Premier League suitors, after a series of scintillating performances in the Npower Championship.

It was reported that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sent former assistant manager Pat Rice to run the rule over Zaha in Palace's 4-3 win over Burnley at the weekend, with the 19-year-old winger netting twice in front of the Emirates Stadium representative.

However, understands that Arsenal are considered outsiders in the race to capture one of the hottest properties in the lower leagues, with long-term admirers Liverpool at the front of the queue.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is desperate for more wide options at Anfield following the sales of Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez last summer, and Zaha's ability to play on either wing, or through the middle, makes him an attractive proposition.

The Ivorian-born star signed a new five-and-a-half year contract last December, tying him to the Selhurst Park club until 2017. But, the Eagles have indicated they could cash-in on their prized asset - either in January or next summer - with bidding set to start at around £10million.

Reigning champions Manchester City have also shown an interest in the Football League's 2011/12 Young Player of the Year, with Roberto Mancini continuing to monitor Zaha's situation, with a view to making a rival bid to lure him to the Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool Defender Target Discusses Move

Reported Liverpool transfer target Angelo Ogbonna says he is flattered with news of interest from the Reds and has hinted he would be open to a move to Merseyside in the future.

The 24-year-old central defender continues to impress with a number of commanding displays in Serie A, and had been in Italy's squad for their World Cup 2014 double-header before withdrawing.

Liverpool have reportedly been monitoring Ogbonna as Brendan Rodgers makes plans to bring reinforcements to Anfield during the January transfer window, and defence could be a department the Reds boss may be tempted to bolster.

Ogbonna would certainly do just that, and admits that the idea of a transfer to Liverpool is one that he would find appealing - but is not prepared to get ahead of himself at this present time.

"It is flattering to be linked with Liverpool football club, one of the biggest clubs in the world. It's very famous," he told Sky Sports.

"However, my contract with Torino expires in 2016 and I like Torino as a club. But you never know."

Should he move to Liverpool, Ogbonna would compete with Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger for a starting berth in central defence, but may find it hard to budge the impressive pairing.

Liverpool Set Sights On French International Defender

Liverpool are being linked with a move for highly-rated French international defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, according to reports.

Italian publication La Stampa claims Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is eager to add the 23-year-old to the ranks at Anfield, with an expiring contract appearing to work in the favour of interested parties.

Yanga-Mbiwa’s current deal with Montpellier expires in the summer of 2013. That means he’d be able discuss terms over a potential free transfer in January, whilst the Ligue 1 champions may be forced to sell the player if they want to receive any money for the skipper.

Serie ‘A’ giants AC Milan are also being linked with a move for the player by the paper, whilst Yanga-Mbiwa spoke specifically on interest from Barcelona earlier in the week.

Were the three-cap international to move to Liverpool, he’d be joining Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher, Sebastian Coates and Daniel Agger in fighting for a starting spot at the heart of the club’s defence.

And, given the way that the club has been exposed at the back on a couple of occasions this season, it’s no surprise to see Rodgers linked with a move for a centre back.

Genoa star Andreas Granqvist has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, suggesting that movement could be made as soon as the New Year arrives.

Liverpool Star Scoops Top Award

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has been named the Welsh Footballer of the Year for 2012 after a year in which he flourished at Swansea and earned a move to Merseyside.

Allen was one of the star perfumers for the Swans last season as they entertained and excelled during their first season in the Premier League under the stewardship of Brendan Rodgers.

After Rodgers was appointed successor to Kenny Dalglish as manager of Liverpool, Allen soon followed his former manager to Anfield and signed for the Reds for £15 million.

The fee paid by Liverpool was a record for a Welsh player, and the 22-year-old joins a number of famous players from his country to have donned the famous Red of the club.

Allen has impressed since becoming a Liverpool player, even if the results during Rodgers' brief tenure have not been up to scratch so far.

Allen beat the likes of Swansea captain Ashley Williams and Tottenham star Gareth Bale to claim the Welsh award on this occasion, with the former having collected the going on in the previous two years.

The Liverpool star polled the most votes from journalists and broadcasters, who analyzed the 12 months from October 2011 onwards, and Allen won out over some illustrious rivals.

Morgan Seals U21s Win At 'Boro

Adam Morgan netted a superb winner as Liverpool U21s maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Monday night.

The Academy hot-shot fired the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time when he latched onto a delightful back-heel from Dani Pacheco, rounded the goalkeeper and finished, showing great composure in the process.

Rodolfo Borrell's side played some sparkling football in the first half and could have scored a lot more goals but for some fine goalkeeping from 'Boro stopper Connor Ripley.

The U21s team: Gulacsi, Smith, Wilson, Sama, Sokolik, Coady (c), Morgan (McLaughlin), Roddan, Ngoo, Adorjan, Pacheco.

Soccer Prince Arrives At Academy

Emin Altunay arrived at the Liverpool Academy in Kirkby last week determined to take full advantage of a 'dream come true' after he beat competition from thousands of young footballers to become Turkey's first Soccer Prince.

His prize for winning the hit reality TV show is a 12-month development program in the UK under the guidance and direction of LFC and the aim is simple; to develop Emin to the highest level that he can achieve.

The Turkish show was an epic 51-episode series covering 15 cities the length and breadth of the country, culminating in the final in Istanbul at the end of May 2012.

Liverpool, of course, are no strangers to the Turkish capital and courtesy of the Soccer Prince show, the Reds' brand has now reached some of the most remote parts of the country.

Emin, from a small town called Hatay in Southern Turkey, close to the Syrian border, explained he felt after winning the competition: "I've been playing football since I was four years old. I've always wanted to play football and I want to thank everyone who has given me this opportunity.

"I am so lucky to be given the chance to be developed by such a famous club and I won't let them down."

Former Reds star Kevin Keegan was in Istanbul to officially crown Emin as the first Turkish Soccer Prince and other legends such as club ambassador Ian Rush, John Barnes, Dean Saunders, Didi Hamann and Gordon Milne also appeared on the show.

Keegan clearly enjoyed his time at the finale in Istanbul saying: "What this show has done for so many young people in Turkey is incredible.

"It has got young people playing the game and has changed the lives of these finalists who will never forget their experience. It was a pleasure to be involved."

Liverpool and Kickworldwide are currently working on numerous forthcoming Soccer Prince shows around the globe including India, China and Brazil.